However, the host nation gave a solid account of themselves in the group stages and they will fancy their chances of causing an upset in Saitama.
In registering a 3-0 victory over the United States, there remains a chance that Sweden's highlight of the tournament could still be their first game.
However, Peter Gerhardsson will share the nation's hopes that his team can claim Olympic gold, particularly with USA and the Netherlands now featuring in the opposite side of the draw.
Having emerged as one of the "nearly" teams of the past six years, the pressure is on a talented group of players who netted nine times during the group stages.
Stina Blackstenius has scored a third of those strikes, but Gerhardsson will be delighted that four other members of his squad have also found the back of the net.
While the Sweden head coach may face a battle to reduce expectations, squaring off against the competition hosts could prove to be a blessing in disguise.
On the pitch, Japan will be regarded as the underdogs, but there is inevitably a desire to end their decade-long wait to win another piece of major silverware.
Japan only qualified for this stage of the tournament courtesy of a 1-0 win over Chile, the decisive goal coming from Mina Tanaka 13 minutes from time.
Nevertheless, Japan will be confident about shutting out their free-scoring opponents after conceding just twice during the group stages.
These two nations are no strangers to high-profile matches, with Japan beating Sweden in the 2011 World Cup semi-finals before lifting the trophy four days later.
However, they are both likely to return to the substitutes' bench as Fridolina Rolfo and Blackstenius are among the players expected to feature in the final third.
Tanaka could potentially take the place of Yuika Sugasawa in Japan's attack after coming off the substitutes' bench to net against Chile.
Sweden Women possible starting lineup:
Lindahl; Andersson, Glas, Ilestedt, Bjorn; Asllani, Angeldal, Seger; Jakobsson, Blackstenius, Rolfo
Japan Women possible starting lineup:
Yamashita; Shimizu, Takarada, Kumagai, Kitamura; Sugita, Miura, Endo, Hayashi; Tanaka, Iwabuchi
We say: Sweden Women 3-1 Japan Women
Japan have already been involved in a number of tense matches, something which may work in their favour on Friday.
However, we cannot back against this Sweden side, who could make life relatively easy for themselves with another fast start to a game.
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